Step By Step, We All Fall Down

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The mood at the ShoutCaster’s Desk was not a happy one. The last thing that Stone said, “Shit. That sucks.” echoed despite the professional grade microphones, pre-amps, noise-gating, and soundproofing. Those words hung in the air, echoing without an echo. The sentiment was precise, and the ShoutCaster’s Desk reflected what every KG Fan— No, what every Chinese fan of League of Legends was feeling at the moment. Regardless of how they individually felt about KG, the team was currently carrying all of China’s hopes for the Season 5 World Championships. 

Qinghe felt it too, and tried to change the mood by forcing out a smile and some optimism, “Let’s not lose all hope just because Rake’s LeBlanc is on a rampage! There’s still more of this game to go! And let’s cheer for God Roundy back there for some quick, quick, quick thinking on his feet! That Teleport helped even things out for the whole team, pulled a baby right outta that trash-fire. If he didn’t jump in, that fight would’ve been 0-for-2. But Roundy’s Riven got there in the nick-o’-time and made it 2-for-3. And even with the kill back there, Riven is still scaling decently. Rake might be feeling the snowball, but I’m feeling like Riven’s starting to bring enough heat to melt it. Any thoughts, Stone?”

Stone was still slumped on his side of the Caster’s desk and completely missed the point of Qinghe’s analysis. “It’s no use, though. I don’t see KG turning this around…” Then his mind finally processed Qinghe’s words and he perked up a little and added tentatively, “Rake’s LeBlanc getting fed this early into the game, it’s going to be hard to stop hi—” He paused mid-sentence. Then perked up a little bit more, cautiously hopeful. “Unless.” He looked straight at the camera before continuing, “Unless God Roundy uses this lead to completely dominate top and carry the game. But that’s a big if right there, Qinghe. A real big if.”

Qinghe nodded silently. Stoically. There was nothing more he could say here. His momma didn’t raise no fool, and he knew there was very little that KG could do against a LeBlanc that was 4/0/0 this early in the game. And it was Rake’s LeBlanc too. He sighed. KG’s midlane was at an absolute disadvantage right now. Even the Lulu they’d strategically picked to counter LeBlanc was useless right now. All hope of a KG victory in this game rested solely in the hands of God Roundy’s Riven. Tian Tian was now carrying all of China on his back. 

“GO GO ROUNDY! YOU CAN DO IT!” Su Xue shouted at her monitor. But all of the people on her stream could hear how nervous she sounded underneath the cheers. 

Lin Feng, still sitting next to her, had nothing to say. He bit his lips and stared at the monitor intensely. Beneath his bangs, his eyebrows were scrunched together. He already knew what was going to happen. He knew that all of the optimism and hope would fall flat. He knew it was almost impossible for Fatty to turn this around. There was no way for Riven to turn the tide of this game.

9 minutes and 25 seconds into the game. Rake’s LeBlanc was dominating the midlane, just as everyone expected. KG’s Lulu was pushed back to the safety of the tower multiple times, and eventually had to recall to base. LeBlanc froze the minion wave, and then decided it was time to go for a walk on the Rift with SSK’s Jungler Rek’Sai. Together, they roamed to top lane and took the scenic route. They circled behind KG’s outer tower in top lane and flanked God Roundy’s Riven. No man, no matter how perceptive, expects to be taken from the rear by two other men. Especially not the way Team SSK’s dynamic duo did it. Rek’Sai burrowed into the ground and popped up underneath Riven to knock her up into the air. LeBlanc jumped up over with Disortion and unloaded her full damage combo onto Riven. This combo play, the unexpected attack from behind where one Champion came in from the bottom and the other from the top, it was more than God Roundy’s Riven could handle. LeBlanc picked up another kill, and Rake killed any hope of God Roundy turning the tide in this game.


With that last kill, Rake’s LeBlanc was now at 5/0/0. As Riven’s body dropped to the ground, all of the Chinese viewers felt their heart’s drop too. With this single macro-gameplay masterstroke, Rake had effectively taken out KG’s outer tower at top lane, dropped Riven behind by a lot of Gold and Experience, made the cliff that God Roundy needed to climb to turn this game around even steeper, and also made his LeBlanc even stronger. Whatever tiny advantages God Roundy had built up on his Riven in the early game, and whatever small victories he’d claimed in top lane, Rake had swept all of those away with one precise play. Rake had shut God Roundy down. He knew exactly what he was going when he roamed up to top lane. And as he turned his LeBlanc back towards midlane, he looked at Riven’s corpse one last time with subtle contempt in his eyes. 

On the other side of the game and the other side of the stage, Tian Tian winced. His mind was riddled with regret and anguish. I shouldn’t have died there! I-i should’ve seen-it! S-s-should’ve known that g-g-gank was coming! His Riven’s death was more than a Champion death or giving away a kill. It was the death of any hope of KG making a comeback. As much as Tian Tian was blaming himself for letting everyone down right there, the truth was that he couldn’t be blamed for this. LeBlanc’s full combo did an insane amount of damage, that was one part. The other part was the signature SSK synergy between their Jungle and Mid.

Everyone who was even slightly involved in the competitive scene spouted on ad infinitum about how Team SSK had an Emperor and a King. And everyone also went on like a broken record about how SSK’s Emperor was the God Emperor. Rake, the One that Sits on the Throne of Sovereign. First among all the Emperors. Blah, blah, blah. But Team SSK’s real power wasn’t Rake. It was their King, Mafa. Quite possibly the best Jungle player in the world. The same league as Team Assassin’s Read XIII, but perhaps even better. Team SSK’s Mid-Jungle combo, the synergy between Rake and Mafa, that was their signature. One of the deadliest weapons in their arsenal.

In nearly every game that Team SSK played, it was the Rake-Mafa roams that helped the entire team get ahead and then snowball. Their coordination and synergy was perfect. That scary, eerie perfect. To anyone watching and anyone playing against them, it was like Rake and Mafa could read each other’s minds. This particular game against KG was no exception to that strategy. After LeBlanc and Rek’Sai ganked top lane to kill God Roundy’s Riven, Team SSK started to snowball. 10 minutes in, SSK had already pulled ahead with a gold lead of 4,000. 12 minutes in, SSK claimed and killed the first Dragon. 15 minutes into the game, the gold lead had widened to 6,000. By 20 minutes in the game, it widened even further to 8,000. The gap between Team SSK and Team KG turned from a small advantage to an ever-growing chasm. It also represented the difference in skill between the two teams.

Rake’s macro gameplay was so overwhelming that it transcended this one game against Team KG. He wasn’t just crushing them in one game, he used one move to dominate the entire series. And he wasn’t just trying to display Team SSK’s might to Team KG. The point was to push every team watching, every player past, present, and future with one play. And it worked. Too strong! That was the single thought going through the minds of every player on every team watching this game. 

A perfect Mid-Jungle duo. A flawless play that turned the entire game around for Team SSK. Even their Gnar who had been losing in the early game phase, managed to regain his footing. By the time mid-game rolled around, he was throwing out beautiful multi-Champion stuns that helped Team SSK win several teamfights.

The snowball that Rake’s LeBlanc had started turned into an avalanche for Team KG. They struggled in vain, trying to turn things around. God Roundy tried his very best to use his Riven to dive SSK’s backline, take out their main damage-dealers. But it was all for nothing. Team SSK was an anaconda, slowly wrapping around them, crushing their bones and squeezing the life out of them. Team KG was powerless against them. No amount of struggle could stop the noose that was tightening around their necks. KG was struggling with all their might and trying their best to fight back. Tian Tian was also doing his best to dive the enemy’s backline. However, SSK was like an unbreakable noose slowly wrapping around their necks.

Finally. After 31 minutes of futile thrashing, the victory screen floated up on the screen as KG’s Blue Nexus exploded with chaotic energies. KG lost the first game. The series became 0-1.

This loss was heavy. The weight of defeat settled down on all of the Chinese fans, suffocating them. Despite the reality that was evident to everyone, though, there were still those eternal optimists who refused to give up hope and tried to reassure the other’s online.

it’s fine, it’s only one game

This is abest of five!

there’s still hope! Don’t give up!

roundy players really well! As long he carried a little harder!

we can still win!

However, these hollow words of comfort proved to be empty. Their hopes were completely shattered by once the second game in the series started. 4 minutes into that second game, Tian Tian’s Rumble was ganked by Team SSK’s Elise and Leona and was instantly sent back to the fountain.

First Blood!

The rest of the game went completely downhill for Team KG. Just like the first one. 6 minutes into it, Mafa’s Elise roamed top again, this time with Rake’s Fizz in tow. They circled behind Tian Tian’s tower and killed his Rumble again. Rumble was 0/2/0. He was clearly being targeted, that much was obvious. SSK knew that God Roundy was KG’s shining hope, and they wanted to crush that early on. But there was nothing that the rest of KG could do to help. Tian Tian’s top lane was completely shut down during the early game. The rest of the game only got progressively worse for Team KG. 

10 minutes: The gold gap increased to 4,000 in SSK’s favour.

15 minutes: A team fight broke out around the Dragon Pit. Rake’s Fizz initiated the fight by picking off Konjac’s Jinx, instantly putting KG at a disadvantage. SSK won the fight 4-to-1 and pulled ahead even further. 

27 minutes: The game ended. SSK was one game away from winning the matchup, and KG had a fat doughnut on their hands.

The Chinese fans watching felt their chests tighten. Some were so nervous that they started shaking. One more loss and KG was out. Was there any hope left? Could KG pull a miracle comeback? The answer was no. Cold and cruel reality snuffed out the dying embers of hope.

The 3rd game started with an invade. Team SSK pushed through KG’s jungle and a Level 1 teamfight broke out. There was a fire-fight! And a massacre. Team SSK picked up 3 kills, two for their top Hecarim and one for their midlane Yasuo. Team KG didn’t manage to get any kills in that fight.

KG had fallen behind before the game even started, and the fat lady had finished warming up and started belting out the first notes of her opera.

10 minutes: The gold gap was 4,000.

At 20 minutes: The gold gap increased to 10,000.

Then, game over. When the purple victory emblem floated up over KG’s ruined Nexus, the Chinese fans watching online fell silent. KG was knocked out of the League of Legends Season 5 World Championship Semi-finals with a score of 0-3. A clean sweep. Many of the Chinese pros watching World grimaced and looked away. Countless Chinese fans online felt their hearts slowly turn cold, as if their entire world had turned gray. KG had lost. The LPL had lost. They were completely crushed by Team SSK without any chance of fighting back.

Rise Team Murder Mystery Part 1

Sietse: You’ve seen a lot of different things in the Translator Thoughts over the last almost three months (Yes, it’s been that long! Amazing, right?). Some thoughts were more serious, while in others we were goofing around. However, one thing we’ve rarely done, almost never, is try and play a game in the comment section. It’s something we’ve been meaning to do, but we just haven’t figured out how. So we’ve tried to create something today that hopefully will achieve just that, a translator thought where we can all participate and have fun together! Now recently I’ve been wanting to play some Cluedo again, which is a fun murder mystery, but haven’t found people to play it with. Then I realized there are literally thousands of people reading Rise every day! I’m guessing there are at least some of you who want to play with me! So that’s what we’re going to do!

Some basic information:

This murder mystery takes place in a world created by me. That means that the rules as we know them on Earth may or may not apply in this world. It is up to you to figure out how everything fits together. So this is not just a murder mystery, but also somewhat of an exploration of a brand new world.

How this is going to work:

1: We kick off with a murder report. It has the information the lead investigator has. He has the manpower to follow leads, but not the brainpower to figure out what the best approaches are to this case. That is where you come in! Delve into the work he’s done and come up with that brilliant plan that will help him solve the case!

2: Go to the comment section. Discuss with your peers what you think is the best plan of action. Come with suggestions, upvote and downvote ideas you agree and disagree with. Dissect every small detail and find the one approach that instantly leads the investigator to the murderer! Help him catch them before they kill again!

3: You guys will have a full day, give or take, to discuss in the comment section. Then the lead investigator will read through your suggestions and trust in your judgement. With that, I mean that he’ll go for whatever approach gets the most upvotes. Of course, if he finds a particular comment with less upvotes but that he sees great promise in, he is free to chase that lead next to the main leads.

4: The lead investigator will report back his findings. From there it is a rinse and repeat process until we’ve caught the murderer. And let’s hope we do that before they strike again! We wouldn’t want to have blood on our hands for choosing to go left when all the arrows pointed right!

“Let the games begin!”

Murder Report:

Name of the deceased: Charles Spence

Age of the deceased: 29

Location of the murder: lower district of the third quarter, Walled Lutton

Date: 5/MD/207


The body was discovered by Charles’ sister, Amy Spence. She reported his death at the station on the 5th day of Moon’s Descent in the year 207. Her hair was a mess and there were large bags under her eyes. When asked, she said insomnia ran in the family and the noise in the lower quarter of the third district wasn’t helping much either. There were some tears in her dress and she wasn’t wearing shoes. This in and of itself wasn’t what piqued me as odd. There are plenty who can’t afford shoes these days. But it’s the combination, and something else, I’m not entirely sure. It felt off enough that I had to write it down. She gave me her statement and then left. I told her to stay within the third district, and she laughed at me. Again, not that strange. No one wants to go down and she didn’t look anywhere near rich enough to go up.

As for the actual crime. Man. It was a mess. A real fucking mess. I’m not sure where to start. The strong smell of blood hit me at the far end of the street. The wind might’ve been blowing in my direction, but still. When we got to the house, a regular third quarter type, it was pretty straightforward. Follow the stench, as it always goes. We went up to the stairs, which had several bloodmarks. Small stains. It might’ve been someone running away, or his sister. Hard to tell. In the room, well, the first thing I noticed was the puke I stepped in. Messed my shoes up. Had them cleaned only a week ago, a real shame. Beyond that. The bed was a mess. The dark stains of blood everywhere. A quick once over on the victim showed multiple stab wounds. Probably some kind of knife. They aren’t hard to come by. Hardly a surprise. There were no valuables, but Charles didn’t look like the kind to have valuables either. There was one strange thing I noticed on the body. The man lacked two things. A heart and his manhood.

Statement, given by Amy Spence:

I got up early in the morning. And it was like, you know, Eggsday. So I rushed down to the market before the sun had even come up. It was already busy but I got the eggs and even a small slice of meat. Doesn’t happen often, but I got some. I thought it was going to be a good day. Then I got home. It smelled differently. You know that smell that sometimes hangs in the air? Thick and nauseating. I don’t know how to better say it. You know when blood and sweat combine into something else? Anyways, it came from upstairs. I was kind of annoyed. Charles isn’t the cleanest, you know? But he usually isn’t this bad. So I dropped the eggs and ran upstairs. We have a thin house. One room down and then stairs up, one room, and again stairs up and one room. I slept in the middle, he at the top. So I went to his room. The door was open, which I felt was strange. He’s usually very careful about closing it. He doesn’t like it when I see what he’s doing. At this point the smell was hard to stomach and I could swear I could see it. You know? It was so thick that it had taken form. Like a smog, a reddish green. And it stank like a day’s old fart. I had to grab my shirt and wrap it around my face. Then I walked in and saw his body. What was left of it. There was blood everywhere and it looked like his chest was torn open? That’s kind of the last I remember, you know? My food from the night before came up and the first bits came right back at me due to the shirt around my face. I took it off just in time before the second load hit. It was a lot. Disgusting. Uch. Well, anyways, then I ran here to report it.

Medical examiner’s report:

The victim is a 29-year-old male, age verified through public records, who appears to have died between 0200 and 0500 hours on 5/MD/207 based on investigation. On general examination, the victim has a bronze complexion with shoulder-length light brown hair and green eyes. There are 17 stab wounds of various depth and numerous straight lacerations across the torso. On an interesting note, the victim’s penis has been severed and was not recovered on scene but the testicles and scrotum appear to be intact. The right lower extremity is everted with a complex fracture of the tibia. On the upper extremities, it appears that the fingernails were detached post-mortem and also unrecovered at the scene. Beyond the stab wounds on the torso, it appears that a rough pericardial window was carved out with what appears to be a different knife than the one used for the stab wounds based on edge depth and serration patterning on the ribs. Based on wound edges, it appears that the pericardium was manually incised (ripped open) and the heart was extracted. The aorta, inferior vena cava and superior vena cava were incised at a 17 degree downward caudal angle, placing the attacker on the victim’s right side. The great arteries and veins were cut out after the heart was extracted from the thorax and done post mortem. Lividity places the time of death at 0345 hours.

Based on preliminary findings and examinations, it appears that the cause of death was exsanguination secondary to multiple stab wounds. Further clinical and investigative correlation is required to establish this as the actual cause of death. This concludes my preliminary autopsy report and findings. A more detailed report will follow once a full autopsy is conducted.

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